WHU | Logo
07/12/2023

Start-ups Investment Report

The funding rounds, exits, takeovers, and IPOs of WHU start-ups in Q2 2023

The first half of 2023 has come and gone, and the entrepreneurial ecosystem at WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management has continued to make waves. This past April was a particularly notable month for company exits. And venture capital firm Antler brought good news for the school and its student body: Their analysis, based on data from 70,000 European start-ups, revealed that WHU’s alumni are the most present force in the German start-up scene—and produce the second-highest number of “unicorns” across the continent. In fact, only alumni from Oxford University in England produce more unicorns. Antler’s report, “Europe’s New Tech Founders 2023,” also confirms WHU’s continued prominent position in the European entrepreneurial ecosystem.

April<o:p></o:p>

Apriwell, a provider of pharmacueticals for long-term healthy digestion, has succeeded in securing an undisclosed sum and can look foward to a promising future. This start-up was founded by Fabian Jahr (BSc, 2021) and Alexander Puschilov (BSc, 2021).

Sunvigo, founded by Michael Peters (Diplom, 2006) and Vigen Nikogosian (Doctoral Program, 2012), secured an impressive €12M in a series B funding round. The company offers members of the general public photovoltaic systems that can be installed on their own rooftops. The company also assumes any financial risks that the customer could face.

- April saw, in addition to the aforementioned funding rounds, a number of corporate exits. For example, Sebastian Funke (Diplom, 2006) and Mark Hartmann (Diplom, 2008) sold their business together, the Stryze Group, to the Razor Group.

- Brought to life by Jan Runo (CMiME, 2020), Chris Maslowski (BSc, 2015), and Bastian Knutzen (BSc, 2015), the start-up Movinga offers environmentally friendly relocation services and was recently taken over by Shift.

iPrice Group, co-founded by Tim Marbach (Bsc, 2008) and Dr. Konstantin Lange (BSc, 2008), was purchased by Bukalapak. This platform helps users by hunting for the best product prices across several online shopping outlets.

- The start-up Uplift1 allows for swift corporate financing and reimbursement based on subsequent sales. The company was co-founded by Ariyan Seyed Nassir (MSc, 2016) and has recently been bought out by Silvr.

 

May<o:p></o:p>

Sastrify, which offers Software-as-a-Service solutions, secured US$22M in a series B funding round. The start-up was co-founded by Sven Lackinger (MSc, 2014) and Maximilian Messing (MSc, 2014).

- The start-up Redstone, co-founded by WHU alumnus Niklas Grunewald (BSc, 2011), received US$350K through an angel investment. This company focuses on mold removal and comfortable living spaces.

Hydroponics, co-founded by Christian Saitner (PT-MBA, 2024), provides what are called “microgreens” (i.e., rapidly growing seedlings) that are used culinarily to ensure solid nutrition. The company secured a half-million euros in a recent seed funding round.

 - Prematch, an up-and-coming star among the platforms centered around the European soccer scene, received an impressive €2.4M in a seed funding round. The company was co-founded by Niklas Brackmann (MSc, 2011).

InCirT, which has a goal of entirely revolutionizing high-speed wireless networking communication, received from one investor support that is not based on capital. WHU alumnus Sebastian Waters (MSc, 2012) is collaborating on this brand new, mold-breaking technology.

Flink, a start-up that quickly delivers groceries right to your front door, was co-founded by Julian Dames (MSc, 2013) and Christoph Cordes (Diplom, 2003). The company recently secured €150M.

- Sufyan Osamah (MSc, 2022) and Nikolaus Ridder (MSc, 2021) are the founders of HonestDog. The pair have successfully concluded a pre-seed funding round. Their platform helps those seeking to adopt a dog, offering full transparency throughout the process and fully vetting its vendors.

Genuine, which helps brands find their footing in the complex Chinese market, has taken on a strategic investor. Damian Maib (BSc, 2016) is the company founder.

 

June<o:p></o:p>

Enpal, which leases photovoltaic systems to private residences, secured an impressive €430M in outside financing. The founders are Viktor Wingert (MSc, 2010), Mario Kohle (BSc, 2008), and Jochen Ziervogel (MSc, 2015).

- The innovative outdoor advertising firm HYGH AG collected €21.5M in venture capital. The company was co-founded by Christian Schroeder (BSc ,2014).

- In a pre-seed financing round, Artificient Mobility Intelligence, co-founded by Sherry Fei Ju (PT-MBA, 2023), secured €500K. The company offers Europe’s first AI-supported app that makes driving safer, greener, and smarter.

Kursinsel is a start-up that allows children to explore their interests and find fun in learning. Co-founded by Raphael Derstappen (MSc, 2021) und Lukas Schürmann (MSc, 2021), the company successfully completed a seed funding round.

Colonia, the digital sharing platform for commercial vehicles, secured €6M in a seed funding round. The company was co-founded by Jakob Sadoun (BSc, 2016).

ToolTime, co-founded by Marius Stäcker (BSc, 2012), recently collected €30M in venture capital. The company offers user friendly software solutions that help craftspeople make their pre-existing processes more efficient, thus saving them time.

- Infinicash, co-founded by Vuyiswa M’Cwabeni (MBA, 2006), helps small and mid-sized firms have better control over their finances. The company received an undisclosed sum during a venture capital funding round.

- Founded by Felix Jahn (Diplom, 2006)McMackler is a real estate agency based in Germany that employs a hybrid working mode. The company recently secured supplementary venture capital funding.

MVP Factory, a start-up co-founded by Philipp Petrescu (BSc, 2013), was successfully sold to Ness Digital Engineering. Even with this transition, the company plans to continue pursuing its goal of advancing digitalization through smart services, fresh talent, and new technology.

WHU | Logo